The personal envoy of the UN Secretary General will visit Cyprus after January 27, the President of the Republic, Nikos Christodoulides, said on Saturday.

In his statements on the sidelines of a ceremony in Strovolos, in Nicosia, and, in response to journalists’ questions, President Christodoulides said that the personal envoy of the UN Secretary General, Maria Ángela Holguín Cuéllar, has already started her contacts.

She had a meeting with the permanent representative of the Republic of Cyprus in New York, he said, noting that it was a “very good meeting” and, based on what has been discussed, “she knows a lot of details, she is ready to get to work and I think she will help us in our effort for the resumption of talks”.

“She has informed us that she will visit Cyprus after January 27”, he said, adding that after Cyprus, she will also visit the guarantor powers – Greece, Turkey and the UK -, Brussels and other capitals.

He added that she also spoke with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, and that Brussels have informed Nicosia that they conveyed the EU’s readiness to contribute substantially to all stages of the negotiation process.

“We are ready to welcome her to Cyprus and we will do what is possible, not with words but with actions, to create conditions for the resumption of talks with one and only goal, a solution based on the agreed framework”, he added.

In response to another question, President Christodoulides, said that a set of 14 unilateral actions concerning Turkish Cypriots prepared by the Government would be announced before Cuellar’s arrival to Cyprus.

Asked about an attempt by the occupation regime to turn into a political issue the recent arrest of a Turkish Cypriot lawyer in Italy concerning the issue of usurpation of Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied areas, the President of the Republic stated that there was no expediency as regards the arrest, “but an illegal action for which an arrest warrant has been issued, which will be implemented”, and which has absolutely nothing to do with the talks.

Asked about the position of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar, on the issue of Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied territories and his reported statements that what is being done was legal, he said that the courts have decided that it was not legal, with the warrants implemented by EU member states and the international community. “There is no justification for illegality”, he said and reiterated that the specific issue was not related to the attempt to restart the talks.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has appointed María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar of Columbia as his personal envoy for Cyprus, to assume a Good Offices role on his behalf and search for common ground on the way forward in the Cyprus issue. 

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